AFC Croydon Athletic boss Kevin Rayner: My chairman reminded me we finished above Croydon so my job’s safe!
AFC CROYDON ATHLETIC boss Kevin Rayner says he isn’t pleased with the way his side are finishing this season.
The Rams go into their penultimate game of the season in the top seven in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table, having collected 63 points.
Derek Hares beings his Deal Town side to Thornton Heath tomorrow sitting in 12th place in the table with 42 points on the board.
“This Saturday sees our last home game of the season against Deal Town and I’m looking forward to the game in which we can enjoy and have a go at ending the season at home with a win,” said Rayner.
“Deal have comfortably seen off relegation and I’m sure that they can enjoy the game as well.
“Our last six games have only seen one defeat and we ensured we put out strong sides against the top two and should have won both games.
“We have not lost against Ashford and Crowborough and are probably the only side in the league to have achieved this feat, which shows what might have been.”
The Rams beat Sheppey United 2-1 at home last Saturday, but followed that up with a 3-0 defeat at Cray Valley on Easter Monday.
Rayner said: “In truth, our last two games saw a lot of players given time that hadn’t been playing and also gave us the opportunity to look at a few youngsters.
“We pretty much fluked the win against Sheppey after a good first half. We tired badly but with a lot of luck and determination we got our first home win in 2017.
“The game at Cray Valley was similar to the Sheppey game apart from the result.
“We competed well and could have gone in front but two goals on the stroke of half-time was too much for us and we again looked a tired side.
“That said and done we will have a full squad back for Saturday’s visit of Deal and will have a go at getting another home win.
“Although as a club we have progressed again and taken the club to its best finishing position, it’s still been frustrating for myself and the team as we know we should have been competing until the end of the season but dropped away tamely after a poor run of home form.
“We have already been looking at next year and I’m not one that wants to finish fourth or fifth and be pleased with it. We haven’t lasted the course and it’s all about putting that right and being ready for next season.
“I’ve enjoyed the season and we have certainly put the club back on the map and everyone at the club has been so supportive and will want to help us continue the progress again next year.
“We’ve played some good football and have recruited some great players for this level. It’s been an enjoyable season although a bit frustrating and as my chairman reminded me we finished above Croydon so my job’s safe!”
Striker Warren Mfula has attracted plenty of attention as he has banged in 44 goals in all competitions this season.
Rayner said: “We can enjoy the last couple of games and as it stands we still have the league’s leading scorer in Warren Mfula, who is back fit for the last couple of games as he looks to secure the Golden Boot award.
“A lot of players have performed well this year but Warren has had an exceptional season and has stayed loyal turning down many offers throughout the season and we hope he can be rewarded by finishing off the year as the league’s top marksman.”
Visit AFC Croydon Athletic’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/afccroydonathletic/
AFC Croydon Athletic v Deal Town
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 22nd April 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Mayfield Stadium, off Mayfield Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 6DN